Euro 2012 & racism

Following the BBC 1 Panorama programme on racism in Poland and Ukraine that was on yesterday evening (May 28th at 8:30pm) I’ve decided that the topic of racism will be covered in todays blog post. I did watched the programme and the images that were shown were truly shocking but Panorama focused on league cup matches and didn’t have ANY footage from international matches. This isn’t me saying that in league matches racism is ok or that in international matches you don’t see any racism because racism is NEVER ok, but I believe Panorama didn’t research the racism issue as best as they could. As I said, Panorama didn’t go to ANY international matches….bad move BBC seen as though the Euro competition is an INTERNATIONAL EVENT. Ukraine’s international matches that I have been to I have NEVER heard any racial comments from any of the fans. I have only been to a handful of matches but friends of mine have been to many more, some in Ukraine and in other countries such as France and they have NEVER heard any racist comments from anyone. This doesn’t mean that those racist fans won’t be at the games or on the streets during other games.

The Panorama programme has shaken people…which is the whole purpose of Panorama…to show shocking images, put the presenter in the middle of it all, secret filmings and, what looks like, clever editing. Now, I’m not saying that the programme was complete shit because there is truth within the programme. Racism is an issue in every country. No one can deny that. This year in England we had racial incidents happen on the pitch from Luis Suarez and, England captain, John Terry (who was stripped of his England captaincy pending his trial which is happening after the Euros).

The programme was rather shocking to watch, not just see the hooligans shouting and “nazi saluting” but it was interesting to see the police interaction and involvement in the racial incidence was minimal. This didn’t just show Ukrainians as racist but it also showed our police force to be lazy and not bothered. “The images screened on the Panorama programme do not represent the behaviour or mindset of the vast majority of Ukrainian people, who are both tolerant and hospitable, and are looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world for Euro 2012.”AUGB website

There are some people that hang off Panoramas every word and would’ve seen the programme on Monday and thought “I AM NEVER SETTING FOOT IN POLAND OR UKRAINE BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL RACIST” instead of doing their own research as well….in fact we Ukrainians aren’t all racists, Panorama showed the actions and words of a small group of people. Its this small group of people that have made the headlines say things like:

“Euro 2012 turning into PR disaster for Ukraine as racism fears scare off fans” – The Guardian

“Nazi mob lies in wait for England fans: Riot police march into battle against thugs on Euro 2012 terraces – but turn a blind eye to racist chants and violence” – DailyMail

“You could end up coming back in a coffin’: Sol Campbell warns England fans to stay away from Euro 2012” – DailyMail

“PFA’s chief backs Sol Campbell over fears of racist violence in Ukraine during Euro 2012” – The Independent

Here are the links I used:

Hopefully you don’t think that Ukrainians are racists just by the words and actions of small group of people. Those that are traveling to Ukraine or Poland for the Euros I hope you have a brilliant time and get back safely.

  1. Great post as usual and some constructive points raised. As with many of Ukraine’s problems it falls firmly at the feet of the Government and Police. Corrupt to the core. What hope do the Ukrainian people have of projecting a positive image when it is rotten at the top? I think it will be open season there with loads of Western journalists coming back with stories about everything but football.

    • Completely agree with you. It will be very interesting to see what stories the journalists come back with. Let’s hope they done brand ALL Ukrainians in the same way.

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